A growing number of men of all ages are turning to cosmetic plastic surgery in a bid to roll back the years. In today’s fiercely competitive business world, it is essential for men to appear young, athletic and energetic.
Surgery is increasingly the answer for those concerned about how their appearance might affect their careers.
Dr Bachir Athmani, the new plastic and cosmetic surgeon and section chief of the plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery department at Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics (BJU), is one of France’s top plastic surgeons. With this expertise comes a deep understanding of the many reasons that male cosmetic surgery is on the rise.
"Everything is about image – we see it everywhere, on pictures and on television." Athmani said.
"Now men are thinking more about themselves in terms of health, exercise and clothes. Men of all ages aren’t ashamed to have plastic surgery, unlike before. They think it’s normal. For women, [cosmetic surgery] is about being beautiful. For men, it is about their careers."
The number of cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures performed on men in the US increased by 17% in 2007, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Surgical procedures rose 5%, while non-surgical procedures were up 21%.
Since 1997, the total number of surgical procedures performed on men has increased by 3%, while the number of non-surgical procedures has risen by 886%.
Most male surgery is based on modifications of standard cosmetic operations, including rhinoplasty, liposuction, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and facelift, according to Athmani. There are also a few male-specific procedures such as gynecomastia (breast reduction), hair transplantation and penile augmentation.
Athmani has recently been performing more minimally invasive procedures for men, notably Botox injections. Male patients find that Botox can smooth lines on their face and around their eyes without changing their overall appearance. Demanding schedules are yet another reason for the growing attractiveness of cosmetic surgery among men. Meanwhile, high levels of stress can lead to eating disorders, which are becoming steadily more common.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is frequently perceived as an appealing quick fix to these problems. "Surgery is safer than ever before and recovery is quicker," Athmani said. "Businessmen don’t have enough time for a healthy lifestyle. With no exercise, they eat more, get fat, and don’t know how to improve their situation."
However, BJU’s services go beyond the tummy tuck. The hospital supplies fitness and lifestyle information so that once customers bodies’ have been put back into shape they are able to stay that way. "In addition to surgery, we can give these people advice and introduce them to coaching programs that can make them healthier." Athmani said.
He stresses that the long-term success of cosmetic surgery depends upon making lifestyle changes such as taking regular exercise. "We are selling reality, not dreams," Athmani said.